THE stepmother of a girl accused of killing a drug user over an unpaid £500 debt told police the teenager had kicked her alleged victim, a jury was told.

The 17-year-old girl is one of three people on trial for the murder of 32-year-old father Anthony Winter who the prosecution say was tortured at a Newport flat before being fatally stabbed.

Alleged drug dealer John Junior Phillips, aged 28, of Baird Close, Malpas, Newport, the girl and a 17-year-old boy, both from Cardiff, deny killing him.

Phillips' then girlfriend, Lauren Hutchinson, aged 19, of Munnings Drive, St Julians, Newport, and the girl have both pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.

A fifth defendant, 19-year-old James Jones, known as ‘Flames’, of Bedwas Close, St Mellons, Cardiff has admitted murder.

The prosecution claim Mr Winter was savagely beaten after he was lured to Hutchinson's Munnings Drive home before he was driven in a taxi to Cardiff.

The girl's stepmother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, gave evidence.

She told jurors at Cardiff Crown Court she called police at 1.28pm on November 23 last year, a day after Mr Winter's body was found in St Mellons.

The woman said: “I told them what (the girl) told me – that she kicked (Mr Winter).”

The prosecution witness was asked to read a transcript of the call she made to the police.

She said: “I have information on the murder that took place in the St Mellons area.

“They told me what they done. (The girl) she didn’t know he (Jones) were going to stab him.

“He was only supposed to hurt him, not to kill him. She is panicking because she kicked him. She kicked the bloke. She wasn’t expecting him to stab him.”

But when giving evidence in court, she said she did not know whether the girl had kicked Mr Winter.

This prompted prosecutor Christopher Clee QC to treat her as a hostile witness and accused her of "lying" and "covering for them".

The witness said what she had said in her police statement was untrue.

She said that Jones had found Mr Winter’s death “funny” but that the girl was “devastated” and “distraught”.

Asked why she told the police the girl kicked the father-of-one, the stepmother replied: “They were all telling me she did.”

Mr Clee asked her: “Has somebody threatened you to change your story?”

She denied this and also said: “(The girl) knew there was going to be violence. She didn’t know he (Jones) was going to stab him.

“She knew there was going to be violence because he owed money so there was going to be a slap.”